Crossroads’ Ida Bay Preserve now has a new trail, and the Inaugural Hike will be held Monday, August 10 at 2:00. Joel Kaminski, a Biology and Wildlife Ecology: Research & Management major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, who planned the trail as a part of his two-summer Intern Project, will lead the hike.
The Nature Conservancy donated the Ida Bay Preserve to Crossroads in December of 2014. They had received the property as a bequest from the Ida Bay Estate in 1995 and since that time, had managed the site as a natural area in accordance with Mrs. Bay’s wishes. Donation of the property to Crossroads received approval from the Door County Circuit Court with the understanding that Crossroads would continue to manage the land with minimal development.
The property includes a beautiful old-growth forest of large red oaks, tall pines, white cedar, hemlock, sugar maple and beech. The 64.69 acre tract is bordered by Cove Road, Canal Road and Zenith Street and is less than a mile from Crossroads’ Utah Street entrance.
Last summer, Joel was assigned the tasks of conducting a plant inventory and mapping existing and potential trails at Ida Bay. He and UW-Oshkosh intern Peyton Parker created a trial trail, establishing a path and clearing branches. The route was selected for ease of access and to highlight significant natural features. The trail was marked with temporary flags.
Early this summer, Crossroads put in a small parking area off Canal Road at the Buffalo Ridge Trail intersection. Then, working with his instructors from UW-SP and Crossroads Facilities Manager Rich Propsom , Joel reanalyzed the trail, which starts and ends at the parking area and also connects the parking lot with the existing trail system on the south (Zenith Street) end of the preserve.
During a number of walk-throughs, the team had to consider factors such as: would the trail accommodate maintenance equipment? could it be created without removing important trees? would it disturb native wildlife? and yet, would it make it possible for hikers to visit significant natural features?
Once the trail was determined, the real work began: grass mowed, invasive species removed, paths in the forest cleared of dead trees shrubs, and debris. Some stretches of trail needed to be leveled. Forest debris and invasive plants were ground into wood chips to mulch the trail. In forested areas, fallen birch trees were used to mark the trail until it becomes established.
So the trail is ready to be used at any time, but we invite the community to participate in the first official hike on Monday at 2:00. We are grateful to all who helped with this trail and hope that the residents and visitors of Door County will get in touch with nature at the very special place we call the Ida Bay Preserve.
Speaking of special places, “The Horseshoe Bay Farm” will be the topic of the Sunday program of the Door County Historical Society. Glenn Timmerman will
present his program at 2:00 in the lecture hall of the Collins Learning Center.
Crossroads at Big Creek is a preserve welcoming learners of all ages to programs in science, history and the environment. The Collins Learning Center, located at 2041 Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, is open 1:30-3:30 daily and for scheduled activities.
Wednesday, August 5
10:00 Family Program: Flower Power
Examine the habitats of the of the different flowers which grow at Crossroads in the summer and learn how they help feed the wildlife. Free for all ages. Meet in the Entry Level of the Collins Learning Center.
1:30 Green General Store, The Fish House, and the Heritage Garden
Meet the storekeeper and discover how shopping must have been in 1890. Then learn about the fishing industry and how families fed themselves from their gardens. Meet at the General Store.
Thursday, August 6
10:00 Family Program: Fantastic Flyers
Get acquainted with migrating birds and butterflies and explore their breeding habitats. Free and open to the public. Meet in the Entry Level of the Collins Learning Center.
1:30 Blacksmiths at Work in the Village
Visit the Granary a watch blacksmiths make tools, housewares, and wroth iron products.
Sunday, August 9
2:00 Historical Program: Horseshoe Bay Farms
Glenn Timmermann will present a program in the Collins Learning Center.
Monday, August 10
10:00 Family Program : “Amazing Great Lakes Fish”
Enjoy our Great Lakes Exhibit as you learn about the habitats required of fish under the waves. Free for all ages. Meet in the Entry Level of the Collins Learning Center
2:00 Inaugural Hike at Ida Bay Preserve
Intern Joel Kaminski will lead a hike on the new trail at the Ida Bay Preserve.
Meet at 2:00 at the Canal Road Parking Area (across from Buffalo Ridge Trail)
(If you are unsure of the location, meet at the Collins Learning Center at 1:45 and we will caravan to the site.) Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, August 11
1:30 One Room School and Chapel
Gather with schoolchildren, ages 4-18, in a one room schoolhouse to learn reading, script, and ciphering. Then enjoy the hymns of 1890 in the Chapel.
Meet at the Vigness School.
6:00 Friends of Crossroads
Visitors and potential volunteers are invited to the meeting of the Crossroads volunteer group. Learn of various upcoming projects and activities. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.
‘ Ida Bay Preserve now has a new trail, and the Inaugural Hike will be held Monday, August 10 at 2:00. Joel Kaminski, a Biology and Wildlife Ecology: Research & Management major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, who planned the trail as a part of his two-summer Intern Project, will lead the hike.